Big League Stew - MLB

Your mind might be immediately clouded with Heyward Hype upon hearing that the Braves capped an eight-run comeback on Thursday with a walkoff grand slam.

In reality, the ninth inning heroics came from an unlikely source: Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad(notes), who sealed a 10-9 Braves victory with an opposite-field granny off Reds closer Francisco Cordero(notes). Left fielder Laynce Nix(notes) made a play on the ball, but it bounced off his glove and over the wall, sending Turner Field into a frenzy and Chip Caray's voice several decibels louder than its usual blaring.

Watch the slam here

Though Braves broadcaster Joe Simpson was moved to say "I've been to two rodeos and three goat ropins, but I've never seen anything like that," the most surprised person in the area code seemed to be Conrad himself. The 30-year-old infielder only had four career home runs to his name and, as he rounded first, it looked as if he forgot he was required to run all the way around the bases.

UPDATE: I wrote this immediately in the wake of the grand slam and thought Conrad was lost in the excitement as he rounded first (kind of like when Mark McGwire had to be remined to touch first on No. 62). But as a few commenters oh-so-nicely pointed out, he thought the ball had been caught by Nix. Conrad talks about it here.

But he soon found his way and, according to Baseball Almanac, Conrad is only the 24th player in major league history to hit a walkoff grand slam with his team trailing by three runs at the time. Adam Dunn(notes) last achieved the feat in 2006.

Not bad for someone who, as @zajareich remarked, sounds like he's "either a character on 'The Hills' or stuck in Shawshank Prison."

Conrad's blast, which came one at-bat after Heyward struck out with the bases loaded, cemented the seven-run ninth inning, which qualifies the Braves for the biggest last-inning comeback since Cleveland came back against Tampa Bay in May 2009.

It also knocked the Reds from first-place in the NL Central and completely overshadowed the Reds' eight runs in the second inning, half of which came from a Joey Votto(notes) grand slam.

Check out the Braves' win probability graph, which reached as low as 0.1 percent, from FanGraphs.com.

 

Related Articles

Big League Stew

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog